Monday, September 17, 2018

Dabbling in the Mud: Snowy Egret on the Tuolumne River

I was walking the Tuolumne River the other morning, and saw a Snowy Egret searching for food in the shallows. They have an interesting way of procuring food, shaking their feet in the mud to stir up crustaceans, fish, and insects.

I don't see them all that often on the Tuolumne River where I walk most mornings, only three times so far. They are beautiful graceful creatures who were almost driven to extinction early in the last century. Their wispy feathers that develop in the breeding season were once worth their weight in gold, which made them a huge target for hunters. The fight for their protection was one of the earliest environmental battles in U.S. history. It's nice that they made it.
I didn't get any closer to the bird on the Tuolumne, but there is a Snowy Egret that hangs out at Willow Pond on the campus of CSU Stanislaus, and I got a few closeups last week (it's a bit more acclimated to people than the ones I see in the wild).

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